Diagnosing a Rough Ride in a 2000 Silverado

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Silverado with a Rough Ride

Elbow grease, rented tools and a few new parts help this Silverado ride like new.

Whenever you buy a used vehicle, there is a chance that you will soon need to make some repairs that the previous owner failed to address and that is exactly what happened to forum member “MountainTodd” when he bought his new-to-him 2000 Chevrolet Silverado. After acquiring and quickly falling in love with the truck, he noticed that it didn’t ride how he would like, so he turned to the forum for help. In showing the benefit of forums, another member was able to provide tips and input as to what could be causing the problem and how it could be fixed.

The Introduction

When the OP first opened his thread, he introduced himself and his truck along with explaining the issues that he had been experiencing in the first six weeks of ownership.

Hi, First off, this truck is fairly new to me, I’ve only owned it for about a 6 weeks now. It’s an original, stock 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ext cab., 4×4, auto. trans. with the 5.3 L motor. It has 210,000 miles on it. I am the second owner, the original owner lived in Florida and wasn’t at all abusive to the truck. When he sold it to me, he didn’t say anything about the suspension bothering him.

Since I’m no expert, I figured I’d start with what I know and buy some new shocks for it. My shock test seemed to fail as well (pushing down on the bumpers were shaky). So, since I like my new truck and I want to take care of it, I bought an upgrade to the OE shocks, KYB gas a just for the front and rear. I replaced them myself, greased up the front end, and lubed up all my nuts and bolts to protect them from my salty winter roads.

Unfortunately, the shocks were not the solution to my front end problem(s).

Problem:
So, I am wondering what is causing the front end to jump around and rattle the whole truck (it seems)? I pretty much feel ever little bump in the road! My truck also seems to have quite a bit of play/sway for side to side as well, when turning the steering wheel. In fact, one day I was at a stop light and noticed that the speeding cars passing by were actually shaking the truck. So, what aspect/part of the front suspension stabilizes the truck from the small bumpy roads? The problem seems premature to the shocks activation. I would also like to know about the swaying from side to side problem?

I don’t plan on going off road much, but would like the truck to be able to handle better. I’ve attached a couple of pictures so you can see what parts I have. I appreciate all your time and help!

He also included a few pictures of the suspension setup with the old and new dampers.

Help Arrives

Shortly after introducing his issue, forum member “tech2” was quick to join into the conversation with a list of ideas:

If the torsion bars are raised to high the ride will be harsh. Inspect the adjustment screws and see if they are screwed in to the max position.

As for vehicle sway, inspect the front sway bar bushings and links. I have a 2000 1500 and it sways when vehicles drive by at highway speed; it’s normal.

As for play in the steering linkage; go over the complete suspension, do a dry park check, inspect the upper/lower ball joints, steering linkage, idler/pitman arms and check for play.

Inspect the tires for irregular wear. If any is present, get an alignment.

To which the OP offered some insight:

Tech2, Thanks for the reply and information!

The steering seems OK, but when I have more time I want to go through everything and make changes if necessary. I love this truck and I want to keep it in good condition! I used to have a 2000 Dodge Dakota, 4 dr., 4×4, 4.7L for the past 12 years and I loved that truck too, but this Chevy is monstrous in comparison. I want to keep it as original/stock as possible, but I am curious able maybe a little lift to beef it up a bit more. Any pros or cons that might help me with this decision?

I also noticed that something looks missing to me, I’m talking about an area/rubber ball, suspension shock absorber looks missing on each wheel? I might be wrong here, but it does look like there is remanence of something left behind around a roundish metal area. I’m sorry that I don’t know what I’m talking about here, but maybe someone can make sense out of it. Might even be a glimpse of what I’m talking about in one of the pictures I posted, or I can post a picture later. ??

To which tech2 quickly pointed out that the Silverado was missing the jounce bumpers, solving one of the mysteries for the OP.

Silverado Torsion Bar Bolts

From there, the two focused their discussion on the torsion bars and how to adjust them. With tech2 providing insight and the OP doing more research, he found that the front end was lowered on the torsion bars, so he rented the tools needed to install new torsion bar keys. Once installed, he was able to level the front end of the truck, which raised it by several inches, but more importantly, it smoothed out the ride of this 2000 Chevy pickup.

Silverado Proper Ride Height

If you have a rough ride issue with your similar Chevrolet Silverado, click here to check out the thread with all of the discussion on the various changes that could be made to the front end to help fix the problem.

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